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Robotic-Assisted Surgery for Gallbladder Cancer Found To Be As Effective As Traditional Surgery

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Mar 2024
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Image: Robotic-assisted surgery for gallbladder cancer is as effective as traditional open and laparoscopic methods (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: Robotic-assisted surgery for gallbladder cancer is as effective as traditional open and laparoscopic methods (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Gallbladder cancer (GBC), ranking as the leading biliary tract cancer and the 17th deadliest cancer globally, demands urgent improvement in disease management. Surgery remains the most effective curative approach for those diagnosed with GBC. Despite the growing preference for minimally invasive surgical methods in gastrointestinal cancers, including laparoscopic and robotic surgeries, there is still hesitancy in employing these techniques for GBC. This caution mainly stems from concerns about tumor dissemination, bile spillage, and specific technical challenges like liver resection and thorough lymph node removal. Now, a new study has found that robotic-assisted surgery for GBC matches the efficacy of conventional open and laparoscopic procedures while offering the additional advantages of high precision and faster recovery post-surgery.

Conducted by researchers at Boston University (Boston, MA, USA), this study involved a systematic review of existing literature to compare patient outcomes from robotic, open, and laparoscopic surgeries. This comprehensive analysis included studies that documented oncological outcomes and perioperative benefits, such as the duration of the operation, blood loss, and recovery time. The results indicate that robotic surgery not only stands as a safer and potentially less painful option for treating GBC but also allows for quicker recovery. This finding has clinical implications, suggesting that robotic surgery might become a standard care option for GBC. Such a shift could enhance patient care and possibly lower healthcare expenses, owing to reduced lengths of hospital stays.

“Our study demonstrates the viability of robotic surgery for gallbladder cancer treatment, a field where minimally invasive approaches have been cautiously adopted due to concerns over oncologic efficacy and technical challenges,” said Eduardo Vega, MD, assistant professor of surgery at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine.

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